Within hours of Donald Trump predicting his looming arrest, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy didn’t just voice his support for the former president, the California Republican also directed House committee chairs to investigate the work of the Manhattan district attorney’s office. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan wasted no time in following those directions.
Soon after, Jordan and Alvin Bragg’s office started trading a series of unpleasant messages, culminating in a warning to the Ohio Republican last week about “unlawful political interference.”
But the GOP congressman hasn’t just made dubious requests to the local prosecutor. Two weeks ago, Jordan also requested testimony, documents and communications from Mark Pomerantz, the former New York County special assistant district attorney. Yesterday, as Politico reported, the Judiciary Committee chairman upped the ante.
The House GOP on Thursday fired off its first subpoena in its investigation of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, escalating a standoff over the indictment of former President Donald Trump. House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is summoning Mark Pomerantz, a former county special assistant district attorney, to appear behind closed doors for a deposition on April 20, according to a copy of the subpoena viewed by POLITICO.
If Pomerantz’s name sounds at all familiar, it’s not your imagination. The prosecutor used to work in Bragg’s office and was directly involved in the investigation into the former president. Pomerantz resigned in frustration in February 2022, concluding that the Manhattan district attorney’s reluctance to indict Trump at the time was a bridge too far.
Why in the world would Jordan subpoena him? Probably because the Ohioan believes Bragg’s office didn’t want to charge Trump and in fact didn’t indict Trump last year, but local prosecutors were pressured into it by nefarious schemers desperate to “weaponize” government.
It’s not an especially smart conspiracy theory, but Jordan appears to be taking it seriously, and the Pomerantz subpoena is part of the “investigation.” (I’m using the word loosely.)
As NBC News reported, Bragg was not pleased with the subpoena, accusing House Republicans of trying to “undermine” his office’s criminal case against former Trump through an “unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation.”
“Repeated efforts to weaken state and local law enforcement actions are an abuse of power and will not deter us from our duty to uphold the law,” Bragg said in a statement yesterday.
The response had merit, but no one should be surprised if it’s Jordan who ends up regretting this subpoena.
After all, the Judiciary Committee chairman is seeking testimony from someone who was, and presumably still is, absolutely convinced that Trump is a criminal.
Indeed, The New York Times reported last year that Pomerantz not only concluded that the former president committed multiple felonies, he also wrote that he considered it “a grave failure of justice” not to hold the Republican accountable.
In case anyone needs a refresher, let’s not forget that Pomerantz has a unique background. He was, after all, in private practice before the district attorney’s office recruited him to help oversee the Trump investigation, in part because of his relevant experience: Pomerantz was an accomplished organized crime prosecutor.
And after spending a year examining the former president’s financial practices, Pomerantz came to believe that Trump could be charged, prosecuted and convicted.
“His financial statements were false, and he has a long history of fabricating information relating to his personal finances and lying about his assets to banks, the national media, counterparties, and many others, including the American people,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
Pomerantz then wrote a book elaborating on his beliefs that Trump committed a great many crimes.
This is the guy Jordan wants to bring in for testimony? The phrase “don’t threaten me with a good time” comes to mind.
This post revises our related earlier coverage.